Crossfire War – Heaviest Fighting in a Month Erupts in Sadr City

Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Baghdad – Damascus Watch – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: Tehran – Riyadh – Tripoli – Khartoum – El Arish – Ramallah – Gaza – Beirut – Damascus – Baghdad/London – Washington – Jerusalem – Cairo – Amman – Paris – Rome; Heaviest Fighting in a Month Erupts in Sadr City – Iraq Army Positions Under Attack – Iraq Company Abandons Position – Sunni Militants Send Suicide Bombers to Baghdad

Night Watch: SADR CITY – After successfully confronting the Iraq Army in Basra in late March – early April through the Mahdi Army and other Shia militias, Tehran now seems to be concentrating on defeating the Iraq Army in the greater Baghdad area. Swissinfo reports the heaviest fighting in a month has erupted in Sadr City as the Mahdi Army launched attacks on Iraq Army positions in the immediate area. More than 130 people have already been sent to hospitals and it seems the Pentagon is waiting to see how the Iraq Army performs before it intervenes. U. S. Army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Steven Stover observed that despite the Mahdi Army assault, “The Iraq Army still holds their positions in Sadr City. They are currently under attack…but they are organizing a counter attack.” But he had to admit, “There was a company that took themselves out of the line. They were holding an area that they were responsible for and they left.” [SWISSINFO]

The Mahdi Army, led by Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has been encouraging Iraq Army soldiers to desert, to no longer serve the foreign interests of London-Washington with this message, “To all our brothers in the government army and police forces, we invite you to repent, return to the national line and to the arms of your people.” The reason why this message has always had such a psychological-spiritual impact is because any Iraqi soldier or policeman serving with the U. S. led occupation is seen as serving foreign non-Muslim, non-Iraq interests. At the same time Tehran and other neighboring Islamic governments are quite willing to work through Iraqi people in a way that does not threaten the national identity of the Iraq nation. It is Washington which for the past five years has openly advocated dividing the Iraq nation not Tehran. And in so doing Washington, unknowingly contributed to its own defeat, undermined its own position. There is a very real historical hostility among any nation in the region whenever they hear the West discussing redrawing the boundaries. And the West loves that discussion since it reinforces their belief they can control events here.

U. S. intelligence indicates Sunni militant groups have sent suicide bombers to Baghdad, the same groups which have conducted major bombings recently in the north around Kirkuk. Tehran knows the Iraq Army could not recover if they lose control of Baghdad as they have in Basra. This further explodes the myth, the enormous false hope in Washington that Sunni organizations will never work with Shi’ites. There is a lot of unity in the hatred of foreign military occupation. Iran is setting up the U. S. for a last ditch battle in Baghdad and not in the distant future but right now.

Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.